Given 'Independence Day's massive financial (if not critical) success and it's ubiquity in popular culture (who hasn't seen the shot of the white house being vaporized) it seems strange that FOX has never attempted to make a cash-in sequel. Well Latino Review has spoken to Roland Emmerich (director of the original and of the upcoming disaster flick '2012') and he seems to love the idea. So why hasn't it happened?
From Latino Review
Dean Devlin and I are still set to make a sequel likely because we’ve found some sort of idea and we approached FOX and FOX has not quite figured out how to incorporate Dean’s and my deal, and Will’s (Smith) deal. Will wants to do it in some sort of a package they can live with. So it's just been in [negotiations] now since forever, and naturally FOX says 'Why don’t you do it without Will Smith?' I said Will is essential for us, for this movie and actually for the audience too. And, so, it's in limbo and lately the studios are fighting. Like gross players, and Will is a gross player and is probably the only gross player right now who’s worth his gross. So we’ll see what happens. I would love to do it.
Emmerich goes on to say that he has a "a very really good great story" in mind for the sequel already, so I guess it's just down to getting Smith to sign on the dotted line. Hey, it can't be any worse than 'I, Robot'.
What do you think about a sequel to 'Independence Day'? And for that matter do you think the original is even good enough to warrant continuing the story?
The World of Warcraft movie is shaping up to be the next great hope (a new hope?) for those of us that believe a good video-game to movie adaptation is possible. Lord knows we haven't seen a decent one yet. After the Peter Jackson-produced Halo movie fell through (or morphed into District 9) all eyes turned to World of Warcraft, another huge franchise in the video-game world known for it's epic storyline and distinctive characters. Could this be the one that works as a movie?
Well things looked positive when we recently found out that Sam Raimi is looking to direct the feature and today some more info on the possible full title and plot was revealed by MTV:
It was revealed in July that the [Raimi] will next (or at least soon) be turning to the massively multiplayer world of Azeroth for an adaptation of Blizzard's obscenely popular online role-playing game, "World of Warcraft." Until now, the movie's been going by the title "Warcraft" and no story details have been released. Well things have changed, and I think you fans are going to like it.
The eagle eyed fans at IncGamers spotted a change to the movie's details on IMDB.com (via Fidgit). First, the official title now appears to be "Warcraft: The Rise of the Lich King."
What's interesting about that title is it's actually nothing new. "Arthas: Rise of the Lich King" is a New York Times-bestselling book that hit stores earlier this year. The story follows Arthas Menethil, a once-noble prince and warrior who becomes a fearsome tyrant known as the Lich King. Presumably the movie will follow the plot of the book, at least roughly, in recounting the events of the fallen paladin's life.
So it looks like what we will actually be getting is an adaptation of a novel that's based on a video-game property... I guess I can handle that. Having not read the novel I have no idea if the story is any good or not, or whether it is ripe for adaptation, but if there is one filmmaker I have faith in, it's Sam Raimi.
Good grief. It seems that a day doesn't go by without some new piece of Twilight related news cropping up, and today is no different.
In a bizarre move, UK distributor Revolver has picked up the rights to 'Robsessed' a documentary about the male lead of the Twilight saga, Robert Pattinson with a view to releasing it along-side the new movie in the franchise; New Moon.
I say the move is bizarre because it seems strange to me that anyone would want to make a documentary about the pointy-fanged one. Usually documentaries focus on people famous for being incredibly talented or heroic, even historically important. You know, people who have done stuff. Pattinson is only 23 for goodness sake.
It's sensible from a business perspective of course. Slap the actor's name on a DVD, release it alongside "New Moon" and watch the fan dollars roll in. He'd even make an interesting subject, provided the filmmakers get the proper amount of access. For all of his popularity, Pattinson is a pretty mysterious fellow. My thinking is that he's just a young dude, intentionally kept out of the limelight as much as possible to maintain that mystique... and to minimize the damage he could potentially do to that image with poorly planned offhand remarks.
Even if I were a die-hard Twilighter, I'd have a hard time looking at "Robsessed" as anything more than a blatant cash-in. The "Twilight" saga on film isn't even half-complete yet, and this doc feels like it's coming far too soon to contain any earth-shaking new information. Here's hoping I'm wrong, that a "broadcast quality biography" of a 23 year old kid amounts to more than just a fan-serving fluff piece. Still, I have to say... my cynic-sense is tingling.
I kind of get the obsession with Pattinson. He's got that guy-next-door quality, he's not some Hollywood super-hunk meaning that teens can easily picture themselves with him, but frankly a whole documentary about the guy is going a little far. Maybe it would work as a DVD extra.
The opening few minutes of The Princess and the Frog (the new Disney feature that will mark the studio's return to traditional hand-drawn animation) have leaked online. The scene is in an unfinished state (it looks like it might be from a DVD extra) so don't judge it as final product.
Disney has been firing off copyright claims like nobody's business to keep this footage off Youtube so below you can see a fragment that I was able to find that is still online.
It's nice to see some traditional hand-drawn animation coming from an American studio after the last few years of nothing but CG. If you go back and watch something like Pinocchio or Dumbo, it seems like it was made yesterday. Whereas if you go back and watch Toy Story now, it already looks dated and it's barely 15 years old. The hand-drawn style is a truly timeless form of film making.
Below is the full trailer for the Princess and the Frog.
As many of you may know, a movie based on Spawn creator Todd McFarlane's line of toys entitled 'The Twisted Land of Oz' has been in development hell for many years, at one point even having Michael Bay attached to direct before he took on Transformers, and more recently Josh Olsen, author of A History of Violence and I Will Not Read Your Fucking Script, was drafted to pen the screenplay. Well, after a long silent spell, McFarlane has seen fit to spill the beans regarding some of the story and the future of the project.
In an interview with MTV, McFarlane lays out his vision for the movie by saying that "Number one: you have to turn off the switch to the  MGM movie. If you don't turn off that switch, almost everything I'm about to say will not make sense to you... There's a lot of wink wink, nudge nudge stuff, so ['Twisted Land' isn't] completely devoid of what we've come to know"
In McFarlane's vision Dorothy begins her journey in the Antarctic, a monochrome landscape to match the original's black-and-white opening scenes. He claims that most of the original characters will return, though some will be significantly altered; "There's still a thing called Toto, except its the biggest thing in the movie and not the smallest thing. [The beast called Toto] basically ate the first dog, and it's this big thing that [the inhabitants of Oz] ride. They've given this generic word... so instead of horses, [people] ride Totos."
McFarlane goes on to say that Olsen's treatment of the material wasn't to his, or the studio's liking; ""My understanding is that [the studio] thought we went a little too conservative, so somebody else is taking a crack at [the script] now." But he also accepts that his original vision may be too controversial to ever see the light of day, and that compromises are inevitable.
Recently we have been seeing a lot of classic children's stories being updated with a much darker tone (think Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Alice in Wonderland) so this is a perfect time for the studios to crank this out, and considering how creepy the source material already is (the wheelers in 'Return to Oz' are some of the scariest things in any film ever) I can see this version verging on the horrific. Exciting stuff.
More Mew Moon posters for you to drool over today. Summit has released three new posters (that can be seen below) each one populated by members of one of the three main 'clans' present in the movie, the Cullens, the Wolf Pack and the Volturi apparently, so depending on whether you are pro-Edward or pro-Wolf Guy, you can pick your favorite one to plaster all over your bedroom walls.
Less than a year after the release of the last Terminator movie, and less than two years after the franchise's current owners bought up the rights, ownership of one of the most popular sci-fi franchises in history is up for grabs once again.
The LA Times has the story:
Derek Anderson and Victor Kubicek, who acquired the science-fiction franchise in 2007 for $25 million and produced this year's sequel "Terminator Salvation," are now looking to sell them partially or outright as several companies owned by the duo work their way through bankruptcy.
Anderson and Kubicek's Halcyon Holding Group has engaged financial advisory firm FTI Capital Advisors, pending bankruptcy court approval, to "evaluate strategic alternatives," according to a statement. Since Halcyon's only valuable asset is the Terminator rights, any deal would involve an investment in, or outright sale, of them.
I guess this means we won't see the 'new trilogy' the was supposedly kicked off with Terminator: Salvation for a few years, and considering Salvation's lackluster performance at the box-office, possibly not at all.
The rumors that have been flying around the Internet for the last few days about Brad Pitt being cast as Holmes' infamous foil Moriarty in Guy Ritchie's upcoming Sherlock Holmes movie may not be far from the truth if the Hollywood Reporter is to be believed. They are claiming that Pitt is in talks to play a role in a proposed Holmes sequel and given that the actor and director have worked together successfully before on Snatch, it seems like a likely scenario.
From MTV (possible spoilers in quote)
The Hollywood Reporter is getting in on the rumor mill by suggesting that Brad Pitt has had discussions with producers to star as Moriarty in a potential "Sherlock Holmes" sequel. The report acknowledges the previous Pitt rumors, but states that "those familiar with the script say the character [of Moriarty] is in shadow and cannot be recognized," verifying director Ritchie's statement that the Holmes villain is slated for an appearance -- just not with any specific actor in mind.
According to THR, screenwriters Kieran and Michele Mulroney have been hired to pen "Sherlock Holmes 2" for Warners. The screenwriting pair are also mentioned as the writers behind "Justice League: Mortal," the WB's defunct superhero team-up project. They also wrote and directed "Paper Man," the Jeff Daniels and Ryan Reynolds-starring dramedy about a man accompanied by an imaginary superhero pal.
The studio must be seriously confident about Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes to greenlight a sequel months before the film even hits theaters, let alone to start thinking about casting said sequel. However, given Pitt's previous relationship with Ritchie, I don't think we can count out these rumors just yet.
Darren Aronofsky may be in the middle of preproduction for his next film, the Natalie Portman starring Black Swan, but that doesn't mean he hasn't got time to line up future projects. According to Variety, he has signed on to direct a heist thriller based real events that took place in England in 2006 and is the biggest robbery in British history. Wiki (with possible spoilers obviously)
Darren Aronofsky will direct and produce an indie heist thriller based on the daring $85 million robbery at the Securitas Depot in Tonbridge, England, in February 2006.
Kerry Williamson is adapting the script from an underlying rights package that includes Jon Wertheim's Sports Illustrated magazine article "Breaking the Bank" and Howard Sounes' nonfiction book "Heist: The Inside Story of the World's Biggest Robbery."
As I've said many times on this site, for me everything Aronofsky touches turns to gold, so it will be interesting to see his take on the crime thriller (watch out Guy Ritchie).
Want to learn film-making from one of the best in the business without breaking the bank? Well if you've got a spare $1,450 lying around then you can be tutored by Werner Herzog, legendary director of such films as Grizzly Man, Aguirre, Encounters at the End of the World and the upcoming Bad Lieutenant.
To call Herzog eccentric would be a massive understatement, he has been known to eat his own shoe to win a bet or jump into a cactus patch to make a point, so I'll let the man himself describe the weekend-long seminar. From Variety:
"The Rogue Film School is not for the faint-hearted; it is for those who have travelled on foot, who have worked as bouncers in sex clubs or as wardens in a lunatic asylum, for those who are willing to learn about lock-picking or forging shooting permits in countries not favoring their projects," he said. "In short: it is for those who have a sense for poetry. For those who are pilgrims. For those who can tell a story to four-year-old children and hold their attention. For those who have a fire burning within. For those who have a dream."
"Censorship will be enforced," he says. "There will be no talk of shamans, of yoga classes, nutritional values, herbal teas, discovering your Boundaries, and Inner Growth."
I love any film that is just off-kilter, and Herzog has made some of the most off-kilter films ever conceived. Hundreds of little Herzog clones running around shooting films guerrilla-style can only be a good thing in my opinion.
Joe Dante's (Gremlins 1&2, Piranha) new film The Hole has been named the best 3D film of the year at the Venice film festival, beating out big names such as Pixar and Henry Selick.
So much for my earlier claim that "it’s really only down to 'Up' and 'Coraline' as serious contenders." Even as a huge fan of Dante's work -- including the highly underrated "Small Soldiers" and "Looney Tunes: Back in Action" -- I wasn't expecting his new thriller, about a family that moves into a house with a bottomless hole in the basement, to feature better use of 3-D than those hit films.
Yet the way Venice describes "The Hole," maybe this is the real savior of 3-D as something beyond gimmicky profit-booster. While "Avatar" is being sold as something that will be groundbreaking, Dante's film was honored for "best representing the exploration of this new frontier of cinematic language."
High praise indeed for a film that currently has no US distribution or firm release date, hopefully this will lead to the film being picked up. I'm a big fan of Dante (check out his website trailersfromhell.com) and he has a knack for mixing the family-friendly with the mildly horrific. Looking forward to this one.
The Venice film festival is going on at the moment and apparently Sylvester Stallone thought it would be a good idea to show a teaser trailer for his upcoming action throwback 'The Expendables'. Unfortunately for old Sly there was someone in the audience who sneakily filmed the trailer and threw it up online. Check it out in all it's shakey-camera goodness below.
Stallone, Li, Statham, Rourke, waterboarding and racist jokes. What more could you want from an homage to 80s action?
When I first heard that Columbia was developing a Facebook movie, I pretty much dismissed it as internet rumor getting out of hand. I imagined a movie all about characters who spend all their time updating their statuses and 'poking' each other. However, when rumors started to circulate that David Fincher (Fight Club, Benjamin Button) might be helming the project my interest was piqued.
The Social Network, scripted by Aaron Sorkin (West Wing alum and writer of Charlie Wilson's War) will focus on the foundation of the company and the relationships between the various parties involved in its conception. The story has already been the subject of a book by Ben Mezrich (The Accidental Billionaires) on which the screenplay is based.
In late August the news came through that Columbia had green-lit the movie with a budget of $47 million, and it will go before cameras in October.
As for the main cast, News in film has the story:
According to Scriptshadow, Jesse Eisenberg (Adventureland) is set as Mark Zuckerberg, the now 25-year-old CEO of Facebook with a net worth over $100 million. Pop entertainer Justin Timberlake is on board as Sean Parker, the entrepreneur who created Napster and became Facebook’s President when they incorporated in 2004. Andrew Garfield (Boy A) will play Eduardo Saverin, one of the social networking site’s co-founders.
I'm not overly impressed with the idea of Timberlake having a big role in this movie, as a rule of thumb you should leave the musicians to their music. Having just watched Adventureland today I can say that Eisenberg will be a perfect fit for the geeky teenager who creates a social networking site to help him meet girls and accidentally starts a phenomenon. He's got that Michael Cera, geeky charm.
Back in 2008 the J.R.R. Tolkien estate filed a lawsuit against New Line, trying to block them from moving forward with The Hobbit films until they paid up money that they thought they were owed.
Entertainment Weekly has the story:
The Hollywood studio behind a film based on The Hobbit and trustees for the estate of author J.R.R. Tolkien have settled a lawsuit that paves the way for a blockbuster based on the book, according to Reuters. Tolkien’s classic tale about Bilbo Baggins is the precursor to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, which was turned into a trio of box-office smashes directed by Peter Jackson. In February of 2008, the trustees of Tolkien’s estate filed a lawsuit against New Line (which, along with Entertainment Weekly, is a division of Time Warner), seeking $150 million in profits from the Rings movies, which it claimed it was owed. The suit also sought to block the filming of The Hobbit, which will be made into two films and will be directed by Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth). Financial details of the settlement were not disclosed, but the author’s son, Christopher Tolkien, said in a statement, “New Line may now proceed with its proposed films of The Hobbit.”
We can assume that New Line simply paid the Tolkien's a huge sum of money to avoid having to waste time going to trial, even if they felt they were in the right. But considering the success of the Lord of the Rings trilogy for them, even $150 million is probably a drop in the bucket.
With the release of New Moon (aka Twilight 2) just around the corner, the marketing machine is shifting into high gear with tid-bits popping up all over the internet to whet the appetite of twi-hards everywhere.
Today we saw a new still from the movie show up on the MTV movies blog showing Edward and Bella holding hands in what looks like a bedroom. Check it out below.
Today we also saw the release of a preview of the new Death Cab for Cutie on newmoonthesoundtrack.com and the band's official website. You can hear the band talking about the song in the video below.
As if that wasn't enough to get your blood pumping for the neo-gothic sequel I have embedded the trailer below.
After the glossy, ultra-stylized series of Ocean's movies, director Steven Soderberg seems to be wanting to head down a more gritty, realistic avenue. In his last project 'The Girlfriend Experience' he sought to achieve this by casting a real-life porn actress in the lead role of a prostitute. His next project is entitled 'Knockout' and will be a Bond/Bourne style action spy thriller with a female lead, and it appears he is going to achieve the realism he is looking for by casting a girl that could actually kick your ass.
According to Variety, Soderbergh will direct MMA fighter Gina Carano in "Knockout," a spy thriller fully financed by Relativity Media with a script from "The Limey" screenwriter Lem Dobbs. The movie marks Carano's on-screen debut as a leading lady, but the plot won't focus on the fighter-turned-actress's day job -- as it turns out, "Knockout" has a lot more in common with Jason Bourne than Chuck Liddell.
"Knockout" tells the story of a young girl on the wrong side of the tracks (Carano) who is "given a second chance to use her skills for constructive purposes." The film is expected to be a flat out action flick that will shoot across the globe in locations such as Ireland, Turkey and the United States.
Carano definitely has the Hollywood look and will obviously be able to handle the stunt work and fight choreography that the role will require (in fact she might be able to bring some of her own experience into the mix and show the stunt-men how it's done) but as is always the case when non-actors are cast there is always the risk that they won't be able to cut the mustard when it comes to portraying emotion convincingly. Another worry is that Soderberg has yet to prove himself as an action director, though the kinetic style of the Ocean's films suggests he will probably be able to pull it off.